As it’s Family Mediation Week – Divorce From Your Child’s Perspective. Things To Think About.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
It’s National Mediation Week this week.
Most parents don’t know the options that are available to divorcing couples rather than the aggressive ‘Going to Court’ option. Most solicitors in fact don’t favour taking your case to Court as it is expensive and can be very damaging to everyone in the family, particularly your children.
Mediation is a good option – and it DOESN’T mean trying to get back together.
Mediation is an effective way of resolving your dispute without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides come to an agreement.
Mediation is a flexible process and the role of the mediator is to help both of you to reach a solution to your divorce and to arrive at an outcome that both of you are happy to accept. Mediators avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both of you.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing.
It is far less confrontational and upsetting. Not always easy, but worth it for the long term wellbeing of your whole family during this time of transition and change.
If you are unable to reach agreement, you can still go to court. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing.
Both of you share the cost of mediation, which will depend on the value and complexity of your circumstances and what you can agree as amicably as possible.
To help you navigate the journey through Divorce I’ve recently launched a new series of free Divorce videos called -> Divorce Step by Step.
Divorce Step By Step has been set up specifically to help you address the range of issues and matters you have to face when going through a divorce. I have been through the process myself so I know 1st hand how you are feeling and what you are going to go through.
I have come out the other side, stronger and fitter in every sense of the word. It’s not easy but with the right help and guidance the Divorce Step By Step videos will help you to help yourself make it less of a minefield.
I think it’s really important that you remember that divorce is a process NOT an event.
No two divorce situations are identical, but I believe sharing your story will be extremely helpful to other people going through the same process. Simply email me your divorce story. All contributions will be edited to keep the identity of everyone anonymous and names will be replaced with initials and we won’t publish any anonymous contributions.
The website is not a place to vent your anger at your ex – it’s a place to get information, ideas & strategies and it’s my intention to empower you to make good decisions going forward.
Divorce From Your Child’s Perspective
Many parents feel anxious and worried about how to tell their children about their impending divorce as it is a major life change. Here’s an exercise I do on my Parenting Made Easy ~ Handling Divorce Workshop that helps alleviate that concern as it focuses on your child’s perspective.
Place a piece of paper on the floor and write your child’s name on it (do this for each of your children), step onto it, and imagine you’re looking at the situation from the eyes of your child. Then ask yourselves the following questions as if you were actually standing in the shoes and socks of your child:
- What do you see and hear around you at the moment?
- How do you feel?
- How could Mum and Dad make you feel better?
- What could they do or say to help?
- Now write seven reassurances and guarantees that you can honestly give to your child on this wheel.
Reassurances and guarantees
These reassurances and guarantees are things that will help your child cope with the enormous changes that are coming. Be completely honest and don’t hedge around the difficulties, and give false promises that you can’t keep as you destroy your child’s confidence and belief in you at a critical time in your relationship. Give your child information but not too much – give them details of the things in the not too distant future that you have decided. Give them specific details but don’t overwhelm them with information and make the information relevant to their age and understanding.
Divorce is a process NOT an event. Take your time to listen to your children’s needs, worries and concerns and they will feel better and be able to cope with the changes that are inevitably coming.
Call me on 01883 818329 if you’d like me to help your family through this very challenging time.